Commission sets date to decide on power-rate bid

As the first in a series of hearings on NV Energy’s big rate case wrapped up Wednesday, the state’s Public Utilities Commission set a date for a decision on the utility’s rate-increase request.

Rick Hackman, a spokesman for the commission, said the agency’s commissioners would decide the case at a special-agenda meeting at 9:30 a.m. on June 24.

The meeting is open to the public, and is scheduled to happen inside the commission’s offices at 101 Convention Center Drive, Suite 250.

That’s the same place where evidentiary hearings in the case began Tuesday. The first of three planned sessions dealt with the amount of money it costs NV Energy to borrow for acquiring and buying power sources.

The cost-of-capital hearings were scheduled to continue through Friday, but all sides had finished presenting their positions by late Wednesday afternoon.

The evidentiary hearings let NV Energy provide, well, evidence to justify the rate increases it seeks. They also give the state’s Bureau of Consumer Protection and corporations the opportunity to argue for different — usually smaller — increases. Among the eight volumes and 2,000 pages of supporting documents NV Energy submitted with its rate application, readers will find financial reports, tabulations of working capital, details on how the company measures depreciation of its assets and even business-expense reports.

The second round of hearings is scheduled for May 4-8, and will address NV Energy’s revenue requirements. It’s at that round of hearings where debate can get interesting, Hackman said. The commission’s staff will recommend whether to allow certain expenses NV Energy wants to recoup. It was during the 2003 revenue-requirement phase that the commission decided to void $500 million in rate increases the utility sought to cover price spikes amid the Western energy crisis of 2000 and 2001.

With both commission staff members and consumer advocates “making an issue of utility salaries and bonuses,” discussion about revenue requirements could prove intriguing, Hackman said.

The final session is scheduled for May 11-15, when all parties make the case for rate designs, or who pays how much. And that’s where interveners, or big companies and agencies looking to affect the increase, typically jump into the game.

NV Energy has suggested 32 different rates for power uses, ranging from apartments and large single-family homes to street lights and water-pumping stations. The overall rate gain would be 13.6 percent, though single-family homes would see a boost of 16.7 percent, or $24 a month on the average bill.

NV Energy will ask the Public Utilities Commission to freeze rates at current levels for locals earning less than 150 percent of the federal poverty level, which now stands at $10,830 for a single-person household and $22,050 for a family of four. The utility will also ask the commission to delay the start of the higher rates from July 1 to Sept. 1.

Eight entities have intervener status in the case. The U.S. Department of Energy and the Southern Nevada Water Authority are interveners, as is a power provider called Nevada Cogeneration Associates Nos. 1 and 2. Wal-Mart, the Southern Nevada Hotel Group, the Colorado River Commission and the Board of Regents of the Nevada System of Higher Education are all scheduled to intervene in the case. Kroger Co., which owns Smith’s Food and Drug, also filed as an intervener.

Individual consumers can’t intervene because they’re represented by staffers at the Public Utilities Commission, as well as the state’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, Hackman said.

Interveners don’t necessarily testify with their own evidence, but they do enjoy a seat at the table, which means they can submit written questions and cross-examine witnesses. Most interveners enter rate cases to protect their interests in the rate-design discussion, Hackman said. They generally focus on providing reasons as to why their rate increase should be minimal.

After the hearings conclude, presiding Commissioner Sam Thompson will write a draft decision, which the commission will post on its Web site at http://pucweb1.state.nv.us/pucn/.

All evidentiary hearings are open to the public, though members of the public can’t comment on the proceedings. The hearings take place at the commission’s local offices. The commission held public hearings on April 6 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

NV Energy filed its general rate case Dec. 1. Company officials say they need to recover some of the costs of moving toward energy independence for the state of Nevada. NV Energy has spent $1.5 billion buying and building power plants in the state so it doesn’t have to rely on outside power providers and expensive wholesale markets.

State law requires NV Energy to file a general rate case every three years. The last case happened in 2006.

To see NV Energy’s rate-case application and its accompanying details, visit www.nvenergy.com/company/rates/filings.

Contact reporter Jennifer Robison at jrobison@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-4512.

ad-high_impact_4
Business
MGM Grand Plans To Add Retail And Dining To Its Strip Facade
MGM Grand President and Chief Operating Officer Scott Sibella said executives are “discussing redeveloping that entire frontage of the building out to the Las Vegas Strip.” (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Boyd Gaming planning new corporate campus
Casino operator Boyd Gaming Corp. has filed plans to build a new corporate campus. The plans call for two 10-story office buildings and a six-level parking garage in the southwest Las Vegas Valley. Boyd Gaming operates The Orleans, the Suncoast, downtown's California Hotel and other properties. The new headquarters would be just a mile from its current main office building.
Bellagio Conservatory transformed to celebrate Year of the Pig
The Bellagio Conservatory Team transformed the 14,000 square foot conservatory to commemorate Chinese New Year, the holiday that marks the end of the coldest days of winter. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2019: Intro uses sound to connect people
Intro, a startup that is part of the Future Worlds Accelerator in the UK, has an app that uses ultrasonic sound to find people and companies nearby.
CES 2019 Video: CES wraps up another year
Time-lapse video of the action at CES 2019 in Las Vegas. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2019: Create your own beauty products
Beauty Mix by BeautyByMe is a product that lets you create your own cosmetics and beauty products. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2019: Picobrew’s home brew machine
Picobrew brings automation to homebrewing. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2019: Surviving CES
What it's like to spend four days working the mammoth tech convention. (Jason Bracelin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Haier’s smart home
Haier presented smart home technology at CES 2019.
CES 2019 VIDEO: Foldimate makes laundry day easy
Foldimate has created a machine that will fold your laundry for you. Just feed it anything you need folded and it will do the rest. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2019: Opte device corrects skin spots
Opte from Proctor and Gamble is a device for correcting spots and freckles from skin. It analyzes the area for spots and then covers them with a serum of matching skin tone. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Circa hotel-casino in downtown Las Vegas unveiled
Derek Stevens reveals Circa hotel-casino in downtown Las Vegas. He plans open by the end of 2020. (K.M Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Circa, new casino coming to Fremont Street
Casino owner Derek Stevens announces his new property Circa, coming to Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas in late 2020. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Dreenk My Oeno makes wine suggestions
At CES 2019 in Las Vegas, the Dreenk My Oeno tells you all about wine.
Polaroid One Step Plus camera unveiled at CES 2019
Polaroid has moved into the digital age with its One Step Plus camera with Bluetooth. With the connected app, it turns your smartphone into a remote for the camera, along with filters and features.
Amazon is everywhere at CES 2019 in Las Vegas
Seemingly everything works with Amazon Alexa
LG Smart Mirror helps you dress snazzy
LG’s Smart Mirror is less of a mirror but more of an assistant to help get you looking snazzy. It takes your image and recommends clothes for you or matches existing clothes with new clothes, which can be purchased right from the mirror. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Underwater robots make waves at CES 2019 in Las Vegas
Robosea is a company dedicated to underwater robotics. They produce consumer robots for underwater filming as well as commercial products which can be used for underwater research. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2019 - Victrola record players spin in Las Vegas
A new spin on an old favorite, Victrola record players are meeting a demand for retro products. The brand is also making furnitures with built-in speakers.
CES 2019: Slamtec robots ready to serve
Slamtec is a robotics company out of China whose goal is to provide solutions for laser localization mapping and navigation. They have created two autonomous robots that can be used in areas such as bars, restaurants and malls. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Mixologiq drink maker appears at CES 2019 in Las Vegas.
This is the Mixologiq drink maker.
CES 2019: Veritable smart garden
Let’s face it; not all of us have green thumbs. And herbs are particularly difficult to grow, considering their constant need for sunshine. Enter the Veritable smart garden from Exky, which does it all for you. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bonnie Springs Ranch near Las Vegas being sold to developer
Bonnie Springs Ranch near Las Vegas is being sold to a developer, set to close in March. Bonnie Springs, west of Las Vegas off State Route 159 — next to Spring Mountain Ranch State Park — spans more than 60 acres and was on the market for $31 million. The developer and his project partner are under contract to buy the ranch and plan to chop it up mostly into custom-home lots. The plans includes a 25-room motel, a restaurant and a 5,400-square-foot event barn.
Bone-conduction headphones form Aftershokz
Aftershokz offers bone-conduction headphones - headphones that don’t go in the ear.
CES Happy Hour party at Hangover Suite at Caesars Palace
Conventioneers mingled during the Hardware Massive CES 2019 Happy Hour Bash at The Hangover Suite at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Autonomous Cars and Futuristic Aircraft Rule CES
Day two of CES was dominated by autonomous cars and futuristic aircraft in the North Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center.
TekNekSavr fights neck problems caused by smart phones
Atiya Syverson invented the TekNekSavr to help fight neck and head problems caused by strains while typing on smart phones. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
New eyeglasses know if you fall and call for help
The French company Abeye has created eye glasses that will detect if the wearer falls and call for help. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Company that creates vibrator-like device claims genders bias against CES
Lora DiCarlo is a women-run start-up that creates a vibrator-like device designed for female pleasure called the Osé. This year they were awarded the CES Innovation Award in the Robotics and Drone Category, but a month later the Consumer Technology Association, which runs CES, rescinded the award and their booth. Haddock and her team believe it is a reflection of gender bias and sexism in an industry with a long history of male domination.
CES-Wagz has new pet products
Wagz has three new products to help create better lives for your pets in a digital world. One is a collar with LTE tracking and an HD camera. Also a smart pet door that only lets your pet in and out. Lastly, a device to humanely keep Fluffy out of certain areas of your home. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
ad-infeed_1
ads_infeed_2
Local Spotlight
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like